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Case Study: SomeRightsReserved

Case Study: SomeRightsReserved

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Published by Cheryl Foong
Case study carried out as part of my study in the Creative Commons Clinic, at the Queensland University of Technology. It is available as a wiki at http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Case_Studies/SomeRightsReserved.
Case study carried out as part of my study in the Creative Commons Clinic, at the Queensland University of Technology. It is available as a wiki at http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Case_Studies/SomeRightsReserved.

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Published by: Cheryl Foong on Jan 10, 2011
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03/21/2011

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 Unless otherwise noted, this paper is licensed under the Creative CommonsAttribution 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visithttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ .Cheryl Foong 2009 (cheryl.foong@gmail.com) 1 of 5
SomeRightsReserved: Digital Downloads & Stuff
Download. Copy. Share.’
Description:
SomeRightsReserved is an online download shop which allows artistsand designers to showcase and sell their products directly to thecustomer.
Website:
http://www.kith-kin.co.uk/shop/  
Licence Used:
Creative Commons 3.0 Unported Suite
Media:
Anything publishable in a digital format (e.g. product blueprints, musicrecordings, e-books, graphics and software).
Location:
London, England.
Overview
Launched in April 2008 by England-based creative cooperative KithKin, SomeRightsReservedis an online download shop which challenges traditional design practices and empowers therole of designers and consumers alike.
1
 
‘Imagine being able to buy the digital blueprints to any object, being able to take it to a skilled professional and have it produced directly. Imagine instant access to quality design ideas and the means to manufacture products on demand.Imagine completely removing the middleman.’ 
http://www.kith-kin.co.uk/shop/about/  This direct link to consumers means that the traditional route taken to market a product,involving protracted negotiations with manufacturers and shops, is avoided.
2
Now, they can‘conceive an idea, refine it in a day and publish it the next’.
3
The results are products whichrepresent KithKin’s honest creative voice, and ideas driven by ‘a genuine passion for inspiringpeople and celebrating creativity’.
4
 
‘I want to be part of something truly wholesome and honest within a field that so often feels dishonest and untrustworthy.’ 
 James King, KithKin Designer
1
SomeRightsReserved,http://www.kith-kin.co.uk/shop/ .
2
SomeRightsReserved Press Release, 25 March 2008,http://www.kith-kin.co.uk/press/releases/milan/KithKin_SomeRightsReserved_2008.pdf(accessed 18 March 2009).
3
Interview with Ian Atkins by Cameron Parkins from Creative Commons, 29 October 2008,http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/10360(accessed 11 March 2009).
 
4
Note 2.
5
Ibid.
Image: Street Sofa by WEmake, CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 Unported,http://www.kith-kin.co.uk/shop/street-sofa/  
 
 Unless otherwise noted, this paper is licensed under the Creative CommonsAttribution 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visithttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ .Cheryl Foong 2009 (cheryl.foong@gmail.com) 2 of 5
‘I would like to stop taking tedious commissions and make work purely to my own tastes.’ 
 Phillip Reeves, KithKin ArtistThe shop lists 30 products, ranging from product blueprints which can be printed, laser-cutand rapid prototyped after being downloaded, to ready-to-use digital products such as music,e-books, fonts, and graphics. Even Lawrence Lessig’s Free Culture is available for downloadas a pdf file at the shop.
7
 Whilst their collection of blueprints includes fairlyindustrious designs (such as the Street Sofa byWEmake which costs approximately £2000, andrequires access to a welder and grinder to produce), theshop also stocks simple conceptual products (forexample, the fold up Graphic Grenade byPostlerFerguson which can be made with just paper, aknife and glue).Ian Atkins, founder of KithKin andSomeRightsReserved, hopes that as modernmanufacturing methods like rapid prototyping andlaser cutting become increasingly available andaffordable, they will become as common as deskjetpaper printers. He explains that these advancementsare leading to a new model of commerce, allowingindividuals the power and flexibility to produce fromhome. Thus, they wanted to address this model from anew perspective. ‘Instead of buying the product, whynot buy the source file…Creative Commons then addsanother level, allowing people to be able to pass thesource file around for others to use and experience, just like you would a traditional product.’
8
 
Licence Usage
SomeRightsReserved allows designers to have greater creative freedom, flexibility,spontaneity, and control over the licensing of their product.
9
Decisions on licences and priceare made by the designers themselves.
10
Of the 30 products listed, 26 are Creative Commonslicensed, with the Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported versiongarnering the highest usage. In addition, all content on the website by default is licensedunder the same CC BY-NC-ND licence.
6
Ibid.
7
 http://www.kith-kin.co.uk/shop/free-culture/ .
8
Email interview with Ian Atkins by Cheryl Foong from ccClinic, 21 March 2009.
9
SomeRightsReserved,http://www.kith-kin.co.uk/shop/about/ (accessed 19 March 2009).
10
Note 3.
Image: Graphic Granade by PostlerFerguson,CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 Unported,http://www.kith-kin.co.uk/shop/pineapple-grenade/ .Image: RepRap, by Adrian Bowyer, CCBY-NC-ND 3.0 Unported,http://www.kith-kin.co.uk/shop/reprap/ .RepRap is a self replicating rapidprototyper which can produce the partsneeded to make another of itself.
 
 Unless otherwise noted, this paper is licensed under the Creative CommonsAttribution 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visithttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ .Cheryl Foong 2009 (cheryl.foong@gmail.com) 3 of 5
Ian confesses that ‘it goes against logic to say, one person can buy the product, share itlegally, then all their friends can enjoy it’. However, he explains that it is not about money, butabout getting their ideas out there, via the internet which ‘is becoming increasingly prominent,and accessible, in our culture’. As a cooperative, KithKin relish the thought of ‘sharing theiridea with the world, and take comfort in their ability to produce hundreds of good ideas in thefuture’.
11
 Similarly, Anthony Dickens, designer of the Playtime Clock,admits that Creative Commons is not right for every product.It has to fit in the legal contract world, where a balance mustbe met, i.e. ideas benefiting society must do so and not beheld for the sole benefit of an individual or organisation.Nevertheless, Anthony chose Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) licensing for the Playtime Clock due to ‘the nature of theproject and how the practices of the internet can influenceproduct design’. In particular, it enabled him to get hisproduct out into a commercial domain, at the same timelegally allowing consumers to customise it.
12
 In a practical sense, KithKin wanted SomeRightsReservedto honestly reflect how the internet currently works. Ianexplains that ‘the copyright system as we know it now isbroken, it can’t reflect the way we live our lives in a moderninterconnected and information aware society. The amountof times copyright is infringed everyday is phenomenal.Forwarding emails, photocopying books, singing happybirthday, recording TV, and downloading stuff. In somecases Creative Commons is a good alternative.’ If they hadchosen full copyright and restricted sharing, they would nothave the monetary or human resources to uphold it. Even ifable to take infringers to court, the benefit and value ofraising a law suit would have been limited.
13
 Likewise, Stuart Bannocks, designer of the Ring Sight, foundCreative Commons to be a great way to distribute hisdesigns (compared to other forms of licensing which left himsomewhat bemused about how best to use them). Stuartobserves that ‘we now live in a time where the concept ofownership is shifting rapidly and our need for ownership overan object or entity is changing.’
14
 KithKin product designer, Joss Debae, points out that theseOpen Content licences are growing in popularity as a newmarketing tool, with big names also spurring the trend.
15
 ‘MySpace and Flickr are tools for hobbyists, but people canget discovered and become platinum selling artists fromusing them.’ Similarly, SomeRightsReserved gives theopportunity for designers to promote their creations, insteadof letting their designs sit on ‘hard drives collecting virtualdust’.
16
 
11
Ibid.
12
Email interview with Anthony Dickens by Cheryl Foong from ccClinic, 19 March 2009.
13
Note 8.
14
Email interview with Stuart Bannocks by Cheryl Foong from ccClinic, 23 March 2009.
15
See for example, Nine Inch Nails’ release of Ghosts I-IV and The Slip under a Creative Commonslicence,http://theslip.nin.com/ (accessed 24 March 2009).
16
Email interview Joss Debae by Cheryl Foong from ccClinic, 21 March 2009.
Image: Playtime Clock by AnthonyDickens, CC BY-NC-ND 3.0Unported,http://www.kith-kin.co.uk/shop/playtime-clock/  Image: Ring Sight by Stuart Bannocks,CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 Unported,http://www.kith-kin.co.uk/shop/ring-sight/  

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